WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior forward Alyssa Michel (Bellingham, Wash.) jump-started a three-goal second half with her first tally of the season as the University of New Hampshire women's soccer team downed the College of the Holy Cross, 3-1, at Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium on Friday night.
The Wildcats remained undefeated at 2-0-2, while the Crusaders fell to 1-2-0. It is the best start, winning percentage-wise, for the 'Cats since they began the 1999 season 3-1-0 (.750), and is the longest unbeaten streak to start a season for the program since it started 3-0-1 in 1991.
After a scoreless first half between the two teams, the Wildcats pulled ahead just 8:11 into the second stanza when Michel received a cross from junior forward Brooke Duchaney (Hampton Falls, N.H.), the America East Player of the Game, and booted the ball into the lower left corner of the net to stake her squad to a 1-0 lead.
Holy Cross would tie it when Gabby Ransom's header off a Sarah Kelley corner kick found the back of the net in the 62nd minute, but the Wildcats did not waste much time before striking back with an answer.
Just 7:06 later, sophomore forward Chelsea Kuss (Warners, N.Y.) netted her first goal in a Wildcat uniform when she received a feed from senior midfielder Cassie Guerra (DeWitt, N.Y.) and buried a low shot into the center of the net for the eventual game winner that put UNH on top, 2-1.
The Wildcats added to their lead in the 72nd minute when sophomore forward Drea Nogueira (New Bedford, Mass.) took a long feed from sophomore back Lyndsay Pallotta (Hanover, Mass.) and kicked the ball past Holy Cross goalkeeper Mary Ferketic, who had come out of the box to try and make the play. The goal was Nogueira's team-leading second of the season, while the assist was Pallotta's first point of her collegiate career.
Freshman goalkeeper and reigning America East Rookie of the Week Erica Correa (Cheshire, Conn.), who stopped five shots on the night, remained unbeaten (2-0-2) and has yet to give up more than one goal in a single match this season.
Ferketic made four saves for the Crusaders, with all of them coming in the first half. Despite being outshot, 12-11, the Wildcats scored on three of their five second-half shots.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. when they play host to Harvard University at Lewis Fields.